Sushi Planet, West Terrace

16189216560 be6923e3e2 Sushi Planet, West Terrace

disclaimer: I was a guest at the Sushi Planet launch party.

You probably need to have been living under a rock to not know that a new Japanese restaurant has opened in Adelaide. Sushi Planet has been open for a week or so now (in ‘soft launch’ mode) and you may have been the very distinctive rice decorated cars – complete with giant prawn on top – about the place. Not only is Sushi Planet doing dine-in food, it’s doing delivery too.

The menu focusses on sushi, sashimi and yakitori and, as something of a novelty, you will also find sushi rolls made with quinoa rather than rice. The launch party focussed squarely on the sushi which was brought out on huge platters for all the hungry punters although later in the piece there was also some yakitori (I missed out on that).

16375827012 4bf5e66926 Sushi Planet, West Terrace

The sushi was good – I think that salmon nigiri is always a benchmark dish and this was lovely, fresh and full of flavour but not fishy at all. I also enjoyed the quinoa roll I tried. You definitely notice that it’s not the standard white sushi rice and if you didn’t know it was quinoa you might think it was brown rice. I didn’t get to try everything that was on offer but different nigiri I did try were all delicious.

Inside, the restaurant is very airy and modern with big large benches running the length of the main area and giving everyone a good view of the open kitchen. As it was a lovely evening, I ended up sitting outside, at the very functional moulded concrete tables. Sushi Planet faces directly on to West Terrace but the table I was at was on the much quieter Waymouth Street side of things. It is in a slightly odd location – next to a chain pizza delivery shop and very close to one of the servos on West Terrace (the first thing my dad said when I told him where it was!). However, being on the edge of town means that parking isn’t too difficult, especially on an evening or weekend, and there is a dedicated pay and display car park immediately to the rear of the restaurant.

15754147204 64cfdb4ae7 Sushi Planet, West Terrace

As Andy and I are big fans of Japanese food (and Master 4 is a big fan of rice!) I am definitely keen to return to Sushi Planet for the full dining in experience. The menu is online and prices seem very reasonable. The food we enjoyed at the launch party was fresh and beautifully presented – and with sushi, you can’t ask for much more than that!

Sushi Planet
1/60 West Terrace
Adelaide SA 5000
1800 787 447

minilink Sushi Planet, West Terrace

Sambal Chicken

16304386141 19d8fb642a Sambal Chicken

Straya (that’s ‘Australia’ to most of the English speaking world …) Day is just around the corner and here in Adelaide we’re looking at a cracking long weekend, with temperatures in the mid to high 20s. Perfect for … BBQ.

I found this chicken skewer/kebab recipe relatively recently and as sambal oelek is one of my all time favourite condiments I had to try it out promptly. We had ourselves all planned to BBQ this and then … the heavens opened. And while Andy would have been (mostly) dry while doing the cooking, the hot plate itself was so wet that Andy doubted he’d even get things hot enough to dry it out, let alone cook on it.

And no one wants a wet kebab.

Thank goodness for grills! Even though it was really a bit hot in the house to be turning on the grill, we had no option. There was no incentive to start messing around with skewers – we just cooked the chunks of meat and off we went!

You don’t need to be too fussy over quantities and we didn’t bother following the original recipe’s instructions about boiling up left over marinade and so on. If you are doing BBQ food you want bang for buck, not lots of messing around!

This, along with the Xinjiang lamb skewers, is definitely going to be on our BBQ go-to list!

Sambal Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sambal oelek
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 tsp ginger, finely grated
  • approx 500g chicken thigh fillets

Instructions

  1. Chop the chicken thigh fillets into skewer size chunks.
  2. Mix all the other ingredients together and marinate the chicken for at least an hour - overnight is always best.
  3. Thread chicken on to skewers and cook on a hot BBQ (or grill). Serve with salad.
http://eatingadelaide.com/sambal-chicken/
 Sambal Chicken

Ding Hao – Chinese Restaurant, Gouger Street

15703514063 4cf707697f Ding Hao   Chinese Restaurant, Gouger Street chilli beef

date of visit: Friday 16 January 2015

Regular readers will know that I am not that big on Chinese food. I loathe saying that because I know that China is a huge country and has a vast range of regional cuisines. I also know that I love Uyghur and Szechuan food so saying that I don’t like Chinese food is a nonsense on so many levels.

However, as a rule, I find the food served in what are usually called ‘Chinese restaurants’ to be a bit bland, a bit same, a bit sweet and a bit alarming in colour. So if we’re eating out, it’s not our number one go-to cuisine. But we have a small child and I am adamant that I should not pass on my culinary peccadilloes to him. So far I’m doing well – he usually loves bananas and I loathe them.

Being school holidays, there were plenty of activities on in town so we headed in to the city and amused ourselves until Andy could meet us after work. We were in Victoria Square, Andy found a sweet park on Gouger Street and we set off, Entertainment Book in one hand and small child in the other.

Master 4 had already announced he wanted salt and pepper squid for dinner so that was our sole requirement (Entertainment Book a bonus!). We didn’t have to walk very far before we came across Ding Hao – on the northern side of Gouger Street and pretty much literally around the corner from the Sir Samuel Way Building. Andy and I have both been to Ding Hao before (for yum cha, on his very first visit to Australia) but it was a long time ago. I have been a bit wary of it due to reports/allegations (that I have been unable to verify) that it serves actual shark fin soup but when you have a small child who has been bellyaching about how hungry he is for over an hour … you manage to push those kinds of concerns to the back of your mind. Hopefully karma doesn’t bite me on this one …

It was only 5:30pm but there were already quite a few people in Ding Hao, even though it looked almost closed from the outside. Without a reservation we were seated, no problems, but I’d recommend booking – especially if you are a larger party or heading there later in the evening. Ding Hao has a reputation as one of the better Chinese restaurants and is definitely popular.

16321604441 018de85a16 Ding Hao   Chinese Restaurant, Gouger Streetsalt & pepper squid

We sat down and had a look at the menu while Master 4 wondered where his S&P squid was … Not entirely sure how spicy the S&P squid was going to be I decided to order something mild in case it proved too spicy (a moveable feast), so I opted for the red pepper beef and Andy chose the chilli beef and we ordered a large serve of special fried rice.

The food came out quickly, and Master 4’s head was blown by the fact that is was all put in the middle of the table rather than handed out to the individual who had ordered it. “But you’ve got mamma’s!”. He kept a fierce eye on his salt and pepper squid, which was too hot to eat so he had to satisfy himself with some rice while it cooled down. Offers of trying the beef were turned down emphatically and any attempt on our part to try the squid was smartly kyboshed.

16322528992 734bd69789 Ding Hao   Chinese Restaurant, Gouger Streetred pepper beef

While Andy’s chilli beef definitely did have some chilli in it, both beef dishes were rather loaded with capsicum and onion and mine did have a slightly alarming colour to it. The portions were a very generous size and the large special fried rice was also a good size. The three main dishes plus the rice was the perfect amount for the three of us. If you have three very hungry adults, you may want to consider ordering an entrĂ©e or two to start though. The salt and pepper squid was actually pretty good – it wasn’t particularly spicy although it was topped with some sliced chilli and onion (and I understand you can request fresh chilli from the waiting staff). The squid was tender but my one criticism would have to be that the pieces were cut ridiculously for something you are expected to eat with chopsticks! Master 4 was both super patient in waiting for the squid to cool down and super deft when it came to eating it – although with plenty of help from both his fork, his fingers and his mother waving chopsticks around and feeding him.

After our Entertainment Book discount, our dinner (three main courses, large rice, two beers) came to just $47 for three people which I think is not bad money at all. I can’t describe the food as revelatory, and the service is nothing special (it’s also not especially awful which is what some online reviews may lead you to believe) but for a decent feed for not a lot of money Ding Hao can indeed hit the spot.

Personally, I won’t be rushing back there but neither will I throw my hands up in horror if compelled to return.

Ding Hao
26-28 Gouger Street
Adelaide SA 5000
phone: 08 8211 7036

minilink Ding Hao   Chinese Restaurant, Gouger Street